The City of Brazil has begun contract discussions with one of its hired services.
During a work session of the Common Council of the City of Brazil Thursday, the Clay County Humane Society was notified the amount of its contract with the city is being cut in half.
"We're at a point where we have no choice," Council Member Pat Heffner said about the contract which was reduced from $25,750 to $12,500 per year. "Dan Hedden (CPA Principal for Umbaugh and Associates, Indianapolis) has been working with the city on the budget and he told us to cut it completely, by we decided on half."
Mayor Ann Bradshaw elaborated on Heffner's comments by explaining the cut is one of many the city has had to make due to the current financial situation.
"There is a lot we are trying to do from within to survive," Bradshaw said. "We have been making cuts everywhere and have even had to put off purchasing items the city needs."
Brazil City Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen added the financial situation may not get any better in the upcoming years.
"The way things sit right now, the city would lose about $16,000 next year and approximately $140,000 in 2010 in property tax revenue because of the circuit breaker caps," she said.
Another issue brought up during the work session regarded the enforcement of ordinances and prosecution in cases of neglect.
"Right now, we have a statute problem," Humane Society Board Secretary Roxanna Tisdale said. "It is real hard to get cases of neglect to stick."
Tisdale added she has been in contact with state representatives about changing the current statutes to allow for stronger prosecution possibilities.
Humane Shelter Director Rick Moore addressed the problem of overpopulation of animals, not only within the city, but the county as well.
"We have got to stop the breeding problem," Moore said. "We have an ordinance that says we must spay or neuter an animal before it can be released and no animal leaves our shelter without being spayed or neutered."
He added the shelter is preparing to send some of the animals currently at the shelter, which is at capacity except for emergency kennels, to rescue programs Tuesday.
"We average picking up between 25-40 animals per month from just within the city," Moore said. "Thank God there is a place like this for animals to go to."
However, the funding aspect was the biggest point of concern for members of the Humane Society.
"We need to make sure we have some base amount to at least account for the fixed income," Humane Society Board Treasurer Ed Gallatin said. "It's going to come to a point where the decision needs to be made on whether you want and need the service."
Because the amount of money the city will provide the Humane Society is being cut, the council will continue discussions regarding the terms of the contract, which expires in December, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall, something which Tisdale agreed needed to be done.
"Less money, less services," she said.